CM Punk Debuts at AEW Rampage in Chicago, Marking Official Return to Wrestling

CM Punk AEW Debut

The rumors were true. On Friday, August 20th, on the episode of AEW Rampage titled “First Dance,” CM Punk shocked the world when he debuted in AEW, (insert what he did in debut). Punk’s debut absolutely made a statement to the roster and established his presence in the promotion as well. After years of fans waiting and wondering, Punk made his triumphant and official return to wrestling for the first time in over seven years. This announcement kicked off the show, setting the tone from there on out.

A few months ago, after years of what can only be called “the boy who cried a Punk return,” word began to spread like wildfire that this time, the rumors of Punk’s return were not greatly exaggerated. That this time, fans wouldn’t get their hopes up only to have them dashed when the familiar lyrics of Cult of Personality did not ring out through an arena, namely, those venues and events in Chicago. The idea of Punk returning to wrestling had long since felt like a pipedream. As the years went by, such a return seemed less and less likely but that didn’t stop fans from chanting his name and from speculating at least once yearly that he was on his way back. Perhaps it would be for a Royal Rumble appearance or maybe, he’d debut at All In. There were moments where fans were left saying, “if he doesn’t show up here, he never will.”

Well, so-called perfect opportunities for a CM Punk return came and went over the last seven years. “If not now, then when?” moments passed by so often. Yet many wrestling fans who never quite got over his departure and how he left the world of wrestling, never stopped hoping their Straight Edge Savior would re-emerge to shake up the world of wrestling at its core. And that’s exactly what a Punk return is going to do as love him or hate him, he is one of the most controversial and polarizing figures in wrestling right now. And his appearance in WWE’s rival promotion is one that is on par with Hulk Hogan being the third man in nWo or years later, Hogan joining TNA. Both of those events shook up the wrestling world. Punk becoming All Elite will no doubt do the same.

AEW has an incredible cast of wrestlers, both new and old, that CM Punk can lock up against. A match with or against former tag team partner Colt Cabana is sure to be on people’s radars, as are first time encounters with Kenny Omega, MJF (the mic work alone…), Lance Archer, PAC, Eddie Kingston, Penta El Zero M, and Punk’s own personal wishlist of Darby Allin, Powerhouse Hobbs, Brian Pillman Jr., Ricky Starks, and Jungle Boy. There is also the chance for Punk to renew old rivalries with guys like Christian, Chris Jericho, and Matt Hardy, as well as to tear it up with Jon Moxley, who is a much different wrestler from the last time Punk faced him in WWE. Needless to say, there is no shortage of dream matches out there for Punk and perhaps that is part of the allure that has lured him out of retirement. Punk has always said, that while it would take dump trucks of money to even begin a conversation around a return, that he wasn’t going to rule out returning to the ring one day. But it would take more than just the money and rather the right opportunity. Now it seems that the 42-year-old Punk has found exactly that. And who knows, with the Forbidden Door being wide open, perhaps Punk will finally get to live out the storyline he twice wanted to in Ring of Honor and then WWE, by traveling and defending a world championship across all promotions.

It’s time to strap in for the long haul as the Summer of Punk 3.0 has officially begun in AEW.